When we think about the value created by autonomous driving, really the first one is improved safety.
The total reduction in human lives that are lost or injured through human error can be reduced and that’s about 90% of crashes that happen today. The second one is improved traffic management, more organized traffic flow allowing people to reduce the total amount of time spent on the road, and even reduce the total greenhouse emissions that take place. The third is really convenience to customers. If you’re not driving your car, you can use that time to be more productive during that period. You could be reading a book. You could even nod off for a little bit and catch up on some much needed sleep…
And then we’ve got fuel efficiency, where really this is thinking about it from an optimized route processing, from a commercial standpoint. Think large-scale trucks that have to travel across the country, across various different cities. Being able to optimize their routes allows you to save millions of dollars on fuel, and this becomes really beneficial in certain cases. And finally, there’s ride-sharing savings, where you really reduce the total amount of labor costs associated with driving the car, and along with that, it can also reduce the total cost of ownership of having a car.
But those are really the short term benefits. When we think about investing at Eventide, we also want to impact the longer term. And here is a study, or results from a study conducted by Arthur D. Little that identify the urban challenges that we would face. And in the study, they identified that overall population in urban areas would increase by over 70%. The total amount of carbon emissions would increase almost 5 times due to traffic. The cost of owning a car is going to increase about 4 times. The travel time on the road would about 3 times, and because of all of that, the total freight cost would be increased by about 40%.
Now, when we look at that, the overall scale and the magnitude of these increases sounds pretty devastating. But what’s even more incredible is that 85% of cars on the road today only have one person in them. So, if we just packed one more person per car, we can actually reduce the total amount of cars on the road and improve traffic significantly. So, that’s the negative side.
On the positive side, what they were able to identify is you’re going to have about a 28% reduction in vehicles, almost 90% fewer accidents, 30% shorter travel times, 66% lower emissions, and you’re going to have even fewer parking spaces. We don’t know what 2050’s going to look like, but those numbers are large in terms of magnitude. And if we can figure out how to get there and invest in companies that are creating that better world, that’s where it becomes really exciting.